Pointing to the place about 150 feet up the Egyptian-style obelisk, where
the color of the stone suddenly changes, Beck gravely exhorted the crowd to note
the "scar" on the founding president's memorial. It happened, he said, when
construction was halted for the national trauma of the Civil War -- the apparent
implication being that Saturday's rally would perform some necessary plastic
surgery on race-related social divisions splitting the country.
When building ceased, a private group of political activists grabbed
the project's reins -- but they promptly made a huge mess of things.
Among other problems, they were rabid anti-Catholic nativists,
religious fanatics who believed only native-born Americans should hold any
public office. They stoked popular fears that waves of Irish and German
immigrants were overwhelming the United States.When Pope Pius IX donated a
building stone from the Temple of Concord in Rome for the restarted Washington
Monument project, the activists had it destroyed. Through in-fighting,
ideological division and bursts of election-related violence, the group fell
apart after two years. The shoddy work they had done on the monument had
to be removed. Hence the "scar" we see today.
h/t The Chief